Composite photo of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole (left) and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. (Justin Tang/AFP and Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Good morning, iPolitics readers.
Monday’s the big day. Our Elxnometer continues to keep us on the edge of our seat, and a whole lot more can shift over the weekend as Canadians waiting for election day to cast their ballots hem and haw and peruse party platforms in a bid to make an informed decision.
iPolitics’ Janet Silver and Kady O’Malley were joined by the Toronto Star’s Stephanie Levitz and Alex Ballingall on the No Talking Points podcast to dissect the final days of the campaign. Give it a listen.
Here’s the latest:
Our barometer keeps track of which party seems likely to win — and whether it’s on track to secure a coveted majority. Check in during the campaign as the winds shift, and follow @elxnometre on Twitter.
- Thursday was a very active day across the country, producing a few interesting developments.
- The Conservatives are back up in this very close and perpetually back-and-forth race to the finish — they are definitely closing the gap in the seat counts.
- We’re seeing a lot of movement in ATLANTIC CANADA. On a bad night for the Liberals, the Conservatives moved ahead in as many as eight seats, making important gains particularly in New Brunswick. A lot of these seats are close and could still shift either way, but clearly the strong Liberal grip on on the region is slipping.
- In QUEBEC, the Bloc Québécois’ surge has stalled. The momentum swing that threatened a few ministers and several incumbent Liberals will probably not pan out. Still, a lot of damage has already been done, and many of the seats the Bloc stole from the Liberals in 2019 will stay pale blue.
- In Trois-Rivières, one of the hottest races in la belle province, it looks like the Conservatives may pull out a close one. The same goes for Beauport—Limoilou, which the Tories also appear poised to swipe from the Bloc.
- In ONTARIO, we are seeing a small surge for the NDP, who are close to taking three Liberal seats: Hamilton, Nickel Belt and Thunder Bay.
- The Liberal lead in Ontario is down to four per cent and the party stands to lose seven seats from 2019, five of them to the NDP.
- The Liberals have rebounded somewhat in the PRAIRIES, where they are on track to claim five seats in Winnipeg. They are still leading in Edmonton Centre and Calgary Skyview, though both ridings are too close to call.
- Jason Kenney’s COVID-19 announcements yesterday have upset a lot of people in ALBERTA. Time will tell what impact it will have.
- The NDP and Conservatives are tied at 29 per cent in BRITISH COLUMBIA, with the Liberals at 22 per cent. That leaves the NDP and the Conservatives to fight over a bunch of close ridings, while the Liberals hope they can keep the 11 seats they won in 2019.
- In a race that is growing noticeably tighter every day this week, it looks like the People’s Party’s purple wave may just help the Liberals secure re-election. Nobody is opening up a clear lead this late in the campaign, which is a bit unusual. But that will make these last days extremely interesting. Every seat will count.
- That much sought-after Liberal majority now seems like a distant memory, leaving many Canadians wondering why we are going through this. Who says that Canadian politics are dull!?
How is the election affecting Canadians’ trust in government? Check out the latest instalment of The Governance Monitor.
Hustle in the hustings
It’s Day 34 of campaigning. Do you know where your party leaders are?
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh starts his day in Quebec with a morning announcement at the University of Sherbrooke before jetting off to Nova Scotia, where he’ll make a 2:30 p.m. stop at the Futures Cafe in Sackville and a 3:30 p.m. meet-up with supporters by the Halifax Common pavilion.
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet will drop by the power plant in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès this morning to make an announcement on Muskrat Falls and GST. This afternoon, he’ll chat with the press at the Davie shipyard in Lévis.
You’ll find Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole at London’s Bellamere Winery and Event Centre this afternoon. He’ll attend an event with supporters in St. Catharines at 7:30 p.m.
Also in Ontario is Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. He’s in Windsor, Ont. this morning to make an announcement.
Finally, People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier is holding a rally this evening in Strathmore, Alberta.
Details of Green Party Leader Annamie Paul‘s scheduled haven’t been confirmed.
ICYMI from iPolitics
- Has the crisis in Alberta created a ballot-box question?
- Alberta’s COVID emergency spreads to federal campaign trail
- Conservatives poised to take key seat in Quebec
- English-debate question causing Quebec voters to think twice
- Gun control advocates bow out in third-party election support
- Opinion: Canada’s House of Commons doesn’t need extremist MPs
- Opinion: Sorry not sorry: Kenney’s contradictory response to COVID
Ridings in the spotlight
- Martin Francoeur (Liberal)
- Andrew Holman (Green)
- Jean Landry (PPC)
- Yves Lévesque (CPC)
- Adis Simidzija (NDP)
- René Villemure (BQ)
What’s the buzz?
Several of Quebec’s 78 seats are in play as we count down to election day. One seat we’ll continue watching like a hawk this weekend is Trois-Rivières on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River.
According to Mainstreet Research’s latest polling from the riding, the Conservatives would win the riding with 34 per cent of the vote from decided and leaning voters if the election were held today. Another 31 per cent would pick the Bloc, and 30 per cent would favour the Liberals.
Louise Charbonneau won the seat for the Bloc with 28.48 per cent of the vote in 2019, but she announced in June she wouldn’t seek re-election, leaving Trois-Rivières up for grabs. The Tories are running Yves Lévesque, who served as mayor of Trois-Rivières from 2001 until his retirement for medical reasons in 2018. He also ran for the CPC in 2019, finishing in third place, 2000 seats behind Charbonneau.
The riding has been held predominantly by the Bloc over the past 30 years, save for an eight-year orange streak from 2011 to 2019.
Janet Silver has more on this red hot riding.
THÉRÈSE—DE BLAINVILLE (Quebec)
- Vincent Aubé (PPC)
- Ramez Ayoub (Liberal)
- Marc Bissonnette (CPC)
- Louise Chabot (BQ) — incumbent
- Simon Paré-Poupart (Green)
- Julienne Soumaoro (NDP)
What’s the buzz?
Another of Quebec’s tight races is playing out in Thérèse—De Blainville, where Bloc Québécois incumbent Louise Chabot is hoping to hold her seat. Her top opponent is Liberal candidate Ramez Ayoub, who represented the riding north of Laval from its establishment in 2015 until Chabot’s win in 2019.
Polling conducted in the riding by Mainstreet Research on Sept. 13 suggests that 41 per cent of decided and leaning voters would re-elect Chabot if an election were held that day. 39 per cent would vote for Ayoub and the Conservative candidate would come in a distant third, with 11 per cent of the vote.
The tables are turned when all voters are factored in. In that scenario, the Liberals would win the riding with 37 per cent of the vote, with the Bloc hot on their heels with 36 per cent. The Conservatives would remain in third place with 11 per cent.
Check out our election dashboard for the latest from ridings across the country.
Thursday’s iPredict Results
The majority of Writ Large readers would disagree with Liberal candidate and hype man Dominic LeBlanc about his party’s chances of snagging a majority government. Responding to Thursday’s iPredict poll, 59 per cent of you said “heck no” the Liberal’s don’t have a shot at a majority, while 26 per cent said it could “maybe” happen and 12 per cent share LeBlanc’s confidence in Team Trudeau. We’ll know soon enough whose prediction comes to pass.
App user? Access the iPredict poll in your browser.
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Thanks for reading. You can reach iPolitics’ briefs team at [email protected].